A bipartisan group of senators are preparing to introduce gun legislation today
A group of Republican and Democratic senators are close to reaching a deal on gun legislation and are expected to drop it on Tuesday after spending the long weekend resolving issues between the two sides.
The group of negotiators – Sens. Chris Murphy, Connecticut, and Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona, on the Democratic and Sens side. John Cornyn, Texas, and Thom Tillis, NC, on the Republican side, had hoped to have the text of the legislation released Monday, but nothing passed.
A GOP source said Politics that negotiators ran into a hitch over the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Republicans fought to keep the amendment in place while Democrats tried to defeat it.
Cornyn told ABC on Tuesday morning that he thinks a piece of legislation could be released today, “hopefully soon,” but the bill is on hold for “details.”
If the Senate moves ahead with the procedure on Tuesday, the chamber could vote on the bill by the end of the week. Otherwise, there is little hope of a bill being passed before the two-week Fourth of July holiday which begins at the end of this week.
Lawmakers rushed to cobble together a deal after a recent series of mass shootings, including in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old gunman mowed down 19 children and two teachers.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, led negotiations for Republicans
Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut, led negotiations for Democrats
Another provision that caused problems last week was the so-called “boyfriend loophole”. Cornyn told CNN last week that the flaw “continues to be a challenge” and that one option is to “remove” it from the package.
Democrats lobbied to include the provision in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act earlier this year, but it was removed under intense lobbying by gun rights groups before Biden signed on. the law earlier this year.
Current law prohibits people convicted of domestic violence from owning a firearm if the violence is directed at a spouse, partner they live with, or partner with whom they share children. Democratic lawmakers have pushed the provision to include dating partners, convicted stalkers or anyone under protective orders.
The Washington Post reports this wording closing the boyfriend loophole has been worked out and is part of the legislation.
Elements of the framework also include expanded background checks for people aged 18-21, funding to encourage states to implement red flag laws, funding for mental health and school safety and penalties for “straw buying” or third party gun purchases.
Though the bill sidesteps many Democratic gun control priorities, Cornyn was still booed this weekend at the Texas GOP convention in his hometown of Houston.
“Democrats pushed for an assault weapons ban, I said no,” Cornyn said. “They tried to get a new three week mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases, I said no. Universal background checks, magazine bans, licensing requirements, the list goes on and on. And I said no, no, 1,000 times no,” he told the hostile crowd.
Spectators were chanting “no red flags” and “say no to Cornyn,” according to Houston Public Media.
“We reject the so-called ‘bipartisan gun deal’ and rebuke Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (RN.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Bill Cassidy ( R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lindsey Graham 1601 (RS.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.),’ a resolution passed by delegates at the Texas GOP convention reads.
Cornyn, when asked about the boos on Tuesday, said he was “all about people exercising their First Amendment rights” and that it didn’t sway him in the negotiations.